Special Education Graduate

At Saint Joseph's University, there are three options for graduate special education programs:

Post-Master’s Degree Program for those interested in earning Special Education PK-12 Certification Program.  This program is designed for teachers who have an initial certification and a Master’s degree and just want to add a PK-12 Special Education Certification.  25 credits*

Masters' Degree and Special Education PK-12 Certification Program for individuals who have an initial certification.  This program is designed for teachers who have an initial certification and want to add a Master’s Degree and Special Education PK-12 Certification.  31 credits*

Masters' Degree and Special Education PK-12 Certification Program for individuals who do not have an initial teaching certification, but do have a Bachelor's Degree.  This program is designed for individuals with a bachelor’s degree who want to earn a Master’s Degree and Special Education PK-12 Certification.  36 credits

* Applicants who have existing graduate special education courses may request to transfer in credits, which may reduce the amount of credits needed to complete their programs.

Learning Goals and Outcomes

Initial Preparation Standard 1: Learner Development and Individual Learning Differences

1.0 Beginning special education professionals understand how exceptionalities may interact with development and learning and use this knowledge to provide meaningful and challenging learning experiences for individuals with exceptionalities.

Key Elements

1.1 Beginning special education professionals understand how language, culture, and family background influence the learning of individuals with exceptionalities.

1.2 Beginning special education professionals use understanding of development and individual differences to respond to the needs of individuals with exceptionalities.

Initial Preparation Standard 2: Learning Environments

2.0 Beginning special education professionals create safe, inclusive, culturally responsive learning environments so that individuals with exceptionalities become active and effective learners and develop emotional well being, positive social interactions, and self-determination.

Key Elements

2.1 Beginning special education professionals, through collaboration with general educators and other colleagues, create safe, inclusive, culturally responsive learning environments to engage individuals with exceptionalities in meaningful learning activities and social interactions.

2.2 Beginning special education professionals use motivational and instructional interventions to teach individuals with exceptionalities how to adapt to different environments.

2.3 Beginning special education professionals know how to intervene safely and appropriately with individuals with exceptionalities in crisis.

Initial Preparation Standard 3: Curricular Content Knowledge

3.0 Beginning special education professionals use knowledge of general and specialized curricula to individualize learning for individuals with exceptionalities.

Key Elements

3.1 Beginning special education professionals understand the central concepts, structures of the discipline, and tools of inquiry of the content areas they teach, and can organize this knowledge, integrate cross-disciplinary skills, and develop meaningful learning progressions for individuals with exceptionalities.

3.2 Beginning special education professionals understand and use general and specialized content knowledge for teaching across curricular content areas to individualize learning for individuals with exceptionalities.

3.3 Beginning special education professionals modify general and specialized curricula to make them accessible to individuals with exceptionalities.

Initial Preparation Standard 4: Assessment

4.0 Beginning special education professionals use multiple methods of assessment and data sources in making educational decisions

Key Elements

4.1 Beginning special education professionals select and use technically sound formal and informal assessments that minimize bias.

4.2 Beginning special education professionals use knowledge of measurement principles and practices to interpret assessment results and guide educational decisions for individuals with exceptionalities.

4.3 Beginning special education professionals, in collaboration with colleagues and families, use multiple types of assessment information in making decisions about individuals with exceptionalities.

4.4 Beginning special education professionals engage individuals with exceptionalities to work toward quality learning and performance and provide feedback to guide them.

Initial Preparation Standard 5: Instructional Planning and Strategies

Key Elements

5.1 Beginning special education professionals consider individual abilities, interests, learning environments, and cultural and linguistic factors in the selection, development, and adaptation of learning experiences for individuals with exceptionalities.

5.2 Beginning special education professionals use technologies to support instructional assessment, planning, and delivery for individuals with exceptionalities.

5.3 Beginning special education professionals are familiar with augmentative and alternative communication systems and a variety of assistive technologies to support the communication and learning of individuals with exceptionalities.

5.4 Beginning special education professionals use strategies to enhance language development and communication skills of individuals with exceptionalities.

5.5 Beginning special education professionals develop and implement a variety of education and transition plans for individuals with exceptionalities across a wide range of settings and different learning experiences in collaboration with individuals, families, and teams.

5.6 Beginning special education professionals teach to mastery and promote generalization of learning.

5.7 Beginning special education professionals teach cross-disciplinary knowledge and skills such as critical thinking and problem solving to individuals with exceptionalities.

Initial Preparation Standard 6: Professional Learning and Ethical Practice

6.0 Beginning special education professionals use foundational knowledge of the field and their professional ethical principles and practice standards to inform special education practice, to engage in lifelong learning, and to advance the profession.

Key Elements

6.1 Beginning special education professionals use professional ethical principles and professional practice standards to guide their practice.

6.2 Beginning special education professionals understand how foundational knowledge and current issues influence professional practice.

6.3 Beginning special education professionals understand that diversity is a part of families, cultures, and schools, and that complex human issues can interact with the delivery of special education services.

6.4 Beginning special education professionals understand the significance of lifelong learning and participate in professional activities and learning communities.

6.5 Beginning special education professionals advance the profession by engaging in activities such as advocacy and mentoring.

6.6 Beginning special education professionals provide guidance and direction to paraeducators, tutors, and volunteers.

Initial Preparation Standard 7: Collaboration

7.0 Beginning special education professionals collaborate with families, other educators, related service providers, individuals with exceptionalities, and personnel from community agencies in culturally responsive ways to address the needs of individuals with exceptionalities across a range of learning experiences.

Key Elements

7.1 Beginning special education professionals use the theory and elements of effective collaboration.

7.2 Beginning special education professionals serve as a collaborative resource to colleagues.

7.3 Beginning special education professionals use collaboration to promote the well being of individuals with exceptionalities across a wide range of settings and collaborators.

The course of study consists of: 

Core Requirements
SPE 630Design&Tech Differentiated Ins3
SPE 700SpecialEducation Law/Policy3
SPE 701Cog Proc: Resrch Brain Studies3
SPE 702Culturally Responsive Teaching3
Choose 8 electives as approved by the graduate director or advisor. These can be drawn from Special Education courses including those leading to:
Autism Endorsement
Intro ASD: Caus Diag & Advoc
Aug & Alt Com & Soc Stratg
Evid Based Prac: AI&I Method
Autism: Behv Manag Approaches
Wilson Reading Certificate 1
WRP: Intro Multisens Lang Inst
WRP: Int Instr- NonRepsRdr 1-3
WRP: Int Instr- NonRepsRdr 4-6
WRP: Int Instr- NonRepsRdrPrac
Applied Behavioral Analysis Concentration 1, 2, 3
Concpts & Prin of Behav Analys
Ethics & Prof in Behav Analys
Measuring Eval Behav Change
Behavior Assessment
Behavior Change Procedures
Collab, Superv, & Mgmt in BA
Science and Philosophy of BA
Social, Emotional and Behavioral Wellness of PK-12 Students Endorsement
Mental Health Literacy w/Field
ThryInstrPract:Emot/Soc/Behav
FamiliesSchls&Cmnty:CommCollab
Social, Emot, & Behav Wellness
One elective from Special Education Courses3

Autism Spectrum Disorder Specialist Endorsement

SPE 720Intro ASD: Caus Diag & Advoc3
SPE 721Aug & Alt Com & Soc Stratg3
SPE 722Evid Based Prac: AI&I Method3
SPE 723Autism: Behv Manag Approaches3

Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing 

SPE 600Found & Current Issues: Sp Edu3
SPE 608FamiliesSchls&Cmnty:CommCollab3
SPE 613Incl. Class Practices w/Field3
SPE 730Ed Found - Deaf & Hard of Hear3
SPE 731Lang, Lit & Comm Dev-Deaf & HH3
SPE 732Curr, Inst & Lrn Env-Deaf & HH3
SPE 733List & Spk Skills - Deaf & HH3
SPE 734Sign Comm in Instruct Settings3
SPE 739Student Teach & Prof Seminar6

This endorsement at Saint Joseph's University is designed to prepare teachers who have a valid PA Instructional I or II to obtain the PA Endorsement in Social-Emotional-Behavioral Wellness. The program aims to prepare candidates to develop the theoretical and pedagogical knowledge and skills needed in working with all students.

SPE 611Mental Health Literacy w/Field3
SPE 606ThryInstrPract:Emot/Soc/Behav3
SPE 608FamiliesSchls&Cmnty:CommCollab3
SPE 614Social, Emot, & Behav Wellness3

Reading Interventionist 

SPE 710WRP: Intro Multisens Lang Inst1
SPE 711WRP: Int Instr- NonRepsRdr 1-33
SPE 712WRP: Int Instr- NonRepsRdr 4-63
SPE 713WRP: Int Instr- NonRepsRdrPrac3

Five Year M.S. in Special Education-Urban Teaching Residents. Teacher Scholars High Incidence/Low Incidence

Mary Erin Sheppard, Ed.D., Graduate Advisor for Teacher Scholar Low Incidence Program and Urban Teaching Residency.

Jaclyn Galbally, Ph.D., Graduate Advisor for Teacher Scholar High Incidence Program.

The graduate students are placed in a clinical experience based on their concentration. They work in the same school for a full year. Graduate students teach a modified schedule with time for their graduate coursework, spending  2/3 of each school day teaching. The school where they are placed utilizes 1) a research-based approach to instruction, 2) ongoing assessments to differentiate and individualize instruction, and 3) leadership and school culture that support teaching every child at his/her own level.

The focus of each concentration/program of study:

The Urban Teaching Residency Program (UTR):
      Candidates earn a special accreditation:

  • the International Dyslexia Association (IDA)
  • the Wilson Language Program
  • Social – Justice focus – including a series of Social-Justice seminars 

The Teacher Scholar High Incidence Program (TSHI):
Candidates earn a special accreditation:

  • the International Dyslexia Association (IDA)
  • the Wilson Language Program
  • work in small  groups with private school students with language-based learning disabilities.

The Teacher Scholar Low Incidence Program (TSLI):
Candidates earn:

  • the Autism Specialist endorsement
  • work with special behavior plans (often ABA)
  • work with private school students with physical, mental and/or behavioral disabilities.
     

Graduate students in any of the concentrations are expected to have obtained their Pennsylvania Instructional I certification prior to admission. They have the option of attaining their Special Education certification upon completion of  the program of study.

Five Year M.S. for Urban Teaching Residency and Teacher Scholar High Incidence

Requires a total of 31 credits:

SPE 603Thry&InstrPracticeStdntHighInc3
SPE 604RsrchBsedModel:Lit,WritOrlLang3
SPE 605RsrchBasedModel:MathSciencePro3
SPE 609SPED Clinical Practicum I3
SPE 610SPED Clinical Practicum II *3
SPE 700SpecialEducation Law/Policy3
SPE 701Cog Proc: Resrch Brain Studies3
SPE 710WRP: Intro Multisens Lang Inst1
SPE 711WRP: Int Instr- NonRepsRdr 1-33
SPE 712WRP: Int Instr- NonRepsRdr 4-63
SPE 713WRP: Int Instr- NonRepsRdrPrac3

5 Year M.S. for Teacher Scholar Low Incidence

Requires a total of 30 credits:

SPE 607ThryInstrPractStdntsw/LowIncid3
SPE 609SPED Clinical Practicum I3
SPE 610SPED Clinical Practicum II3
SPE 700SpecialEducation Law/Policy3
SPE 701Cog Proc: Resrch Brain Studies3
SPE 702Culturally Responsive Teaching3
SPE 720Intro ASD: Caus Diag & Advoc3
SPE 721Aug & Alt Com & Soc Stratg3
SPE 722Evid Based Prac: AI&I Method3
SPE 723Autism: Behv Manag Approaches3